One of my latest Cast Iron toy finds ends up being a early 20’s century automobile. Of course, it has four wheels; but where does the research go from there as there isn’t a make or model labeled on the car?
Luckily, here at Antique Toys we have over 300 books and catalogs as well as cast iron auctions data to work with. In this case my suspicion took me to the cast iron toy company Kenton and also Hubley. A.C. Williams was ruled out due to casting style. This particular toy had a unique two seat cockpit, auburn boat tail style aft section and then a long fasceted hood. Drivers are never dependable.
Auction results came up flat with similar matches, but no match for this exact toy. There were cast iron cars with more rounded hoods, and this one had sharper corners on the hood edges. One of my German resources came up with a smaller toy made by Jones and Bixler. Hmmmm, things are getting interesting, as that company was eventually bought out by Kenton. -Details are starting to come together.
Next a look through the cast iron toy catalog of Hubley revealed another version of the real car, but with a rounded hood. Kenton is more promising still.
Finally, after going through about 10 catalogs of Kenton cast iron toys, we found a likely match– #509 from the 1912. Sure enough, a later cast iron catalog from Jones and Bixler found the same toy and other smaller options.
The point of this diatribe is that for me at least, the hunt for “Antique Cast Iron Car” toys is fun because one eventually can trace the history of the toys. With a large catalog of research pages and networking we have half a chance. I’m happy this hunt didn’t occur in 1977 when the right books and cast iron toy catalogs weren’t readily available.
Enjoy your cast iron toy research and happy collecting!
Below is a sample of American cast iron toys for fun. There are a few tins mixed in.